Non-CNA Jobs You Can Work While You're a Student

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    Getting a foot in the door of a healthcare facility is immensely important in this competitive day and age, and some students want to get an early start. However, not every nursing student wants to work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). The purpose of this article is to discuss other healthcare-related jobs that nursing students can work.

    Non-CNA Jobs You Can Work While You're a Student

    You are studying to become a nurse and would like to be working for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you would prefer to graduate from nursing school completely free of debt, or at the very least, you wish to minimize any student loan debt you might accrue during your years as a nursing student. Maybe your household really depends on your income, and therefore, you've got to work.

    Perhaps you are looking for a job because you're attempting to get a foot in the door of a hospital, nursing home, or some other type of healthcare facility to amass some experience. This is actually a great idea because, if you make a good impression, you might be able to secure a licensed nursing position at the same workplace after you graduate from the school of nursing that you attend. In this ultra-competitive job market, you might have a strong advantage over other new grads if you are already an internal employee at a place that hires nurses.

    Masses of people will recommend that you earn a certified nursing assistant (CNA) state certification and work as a CNA while completing school. While it is true that CNAs accrue excellent healthcare experience that cannot be replicated, not everyone wants to spend the time, energy, or money to pursue the certification.

    Other employment options in the healthcare field exist that do not require certification. In addition, these positions offer learning experiences if you look hard enough.

    Dietary Aide
    You will be working in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the kitchen during meal preparation times. You will also learn how to assemble meal trays as appropriate for the different diets that doctors commonly prescribe to patients (1800 calorie diabetic diet, renal diet, cardiac diet, 2 gram sodium diet, gluten-free diet, and so forth). Some hospitals, long term care centers, and assisted living facilities allow dietary aides to pass out meal trays, so some opportunities for patient interaction might arise. Of course, this is dependent on the policies and procedures of your place of employment.

    Environmental Services Technician
    You will be responsible for disinfecting patient rooms, performing housekeeping duties, properly disposing of biohazard materials per facility policy, responding to spills, and maintaining cleanliness. Many healthcare facilities use outside companies to do laundry. However, if your workplace has not outsourced laundering duties, the environmental services staff might be responsible for washing soiled linens and other clothing articles. Some brief opportunities for interaction with patients may arise.

    You will be responsible for safely transporting patients to and from different departments in the hospital. This position allows for plenty of interaction with multiple patients on a daily basis.

    Direct Care Staff
    Direct care staff members are primarily employed in intermediate care facilities and group homes in the community that house developmentally disabled clients. They give showers, help clients get dressed, prepare meals, assist with feeding and toileting, perform incontinent care, complete flow sheets, and provide companionship. Some states allow direct care staff members to pass oral medications to the clients. This role allows for a great deal of close contact with the patient population served by the group home.
    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 8, '14
    dorkypanda, medieval5879, Nkiru14, and 6 others like this.

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    59 Comments so far...

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    Thanks for the ideas!
  4. 0
    This is great thanks!
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    Another job that someone I know has done while in nursing school is a monitor technician. They are the people who sit in the rooms and watch the telemetry monitors and notify the nurse if anything abnormal shows up. Great experience reading EKG strips....
    kywoodrd likes this.
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    And sitters! Monitor Tech and Sitter positions can be perfect because of the study time on slow nights.
  7. 0
    Quote from Stephalump
    And sitters! Monitor Tech and Sitter positions can be perfect because of the study time on slow nights.
    What does a sitter do? Several months ago I came across a job listing for an ER sitter, and I had no clue what a sitter does.
  8. 3
    Phlebotomist is another good option.
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    Working at an assisted living facility is another good option. I knew a girl that worked as an aid at one during school and she had a lot of downtime to study. The residents have to be continent and able to keep up with meds on their own, and the pay is decent.
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    My hospital has strong opinions about 'sitters' studying, though it's sometimes possible. A sitter provides constant observation for a pt who is at risk for suicide, pulling lines/tubes, flight risk, fall risk. My hospital has the CNAs do it even though security would be better suited often, in my opinion.
    i♥words likes this.
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    Also, some of my classmates got experience in drug/alcohol counseling and planned parenthood that seems helpful for nursing. Anything that'll help you with deescalation will be useful.
    emcadams likes this.

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